Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of early death

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world.  Volumes of previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality.  To confirm, an observational study in nearly 20,000 participants was carried out to examine the association between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality in a middle-aged Mediterranean cohort.

The study was conducted within the framework of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project, a long-term prospective cohort study in more than 22 500 Spanish university graduates, which started in 1999.  The analysis included 19,896 participants of the SUN Project, whose average age at enrollment was 37.7 years old.

On entering the study, participants completed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to collect information on coffee consumption, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and previous health conditions.

Patients were followed-up for an average of ten years. Information on mortality was obtained from study participants and their families, postal authorities, and the National Death Index. Statistics analysis were used to estimate the relationship between incident mortality and baseline total coffee consumption.

During the ten-year period, 337 participants died. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee. There was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day.

The researchers examined whether sex, age or adherence to the Mediterranean diet had any influence on the association between baseline coffee consumption and mortality. They observed a significant interaction between coffee consumption and age. In those who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality during follow-up. The association was not significant among younger participants.

The researchers reported that, in the SUN project, an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above, was observed.  The finding suggested that higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death.  Further, it was noted that coffee seems to provide a stronger protective association among older populations.

Journal Reference:  Materials provided by European Society of Cardiology. “Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of early death.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170827101750.htm>.

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